The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has loosened the rules for church asylum regarding the time frame for Dublin returns. In 2020, cases of family reunification for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection lacked far behind the agreed quota.
The BAMF has loosened its restrictive rules for church asylum and will resume to apply the regular six-month time limit for Dublin returns. In 2018, the conference of interior ministers had extended the period to eighteen months based on Dublin III Art. 29 (2) which allows member states to extend the time limit for returns “up to a maximum of eighteen months if the person concerned absconds”. In June, the Federal Administrative Court had ruled against this interpretation for people in church asylum whose whereabouts are known by the authorities. Charities welcomed that the BAMF is finally implementing the court’s decision. In 2020, there were 355 church asylum cases in Germany and in total 506 people were concerned. The extension of the time limit had hampered church asylum significantly.
In 2020, figures of family reunification for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection lacked far behind the agreed quota of 12,000 per year. In total, 5,311 visas were issued while more than 11,400 requests for appointments were pending by the end of the year. Family reunification for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection had been suspended since 2016 for more than two years. In March 2018, a new law abolished the right to family reunification for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and introduced a monthly quota of 1,000 people who could reunite their family members in Germany.
The state of Berlin wants to introduce a quota for people with migration history in public service which would correspond to their demographic share of the population – currently at 35 per cent. It would be the first state in Germany to introduce such quota.
For further information:
- ECRE, Germany: Deportation to Afghanistan amid Low Asylum Applications and Lengthy Procedures in Anchor Centres, January 2021
- ECRE, Germany: Significant Success on Appeals by Afghans, Planned Deportation to Afghanistan, End of Deportation Ban to Syria under Scrutiny, Resettlement Delayed, December 2020
- ECRE, Germany: Secondary Arrivals from Greece, Return Flight to Iraq, September 2020
- ECRE, Germany: Covid-19 impacts Family Reunification Procedures, June 2020
- ECRE, COVID-19 MEASURES RELATED TO ASYLUM AND MIGRATION ACROSS EUROPE, May 2020
- AIDA, Housing out of reach? The reception of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe, May 2019
- AIDA, Germany: Further restrictions and political differences on family reunification, April 2018
Photo: (CC) Tim Reckmann, February 2016